New Signature Campaign for a Ban on Nuclear Weapons Starts

Starting Ceremony in Tokyo (Feb. 15)

Starting Ceremony in Tokyo (Feb. 15)

We are pleased to inform you that Gensuikyo launched a new signature campaign in support of the “Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons” which calls on all governments to enter negotiations for a convention banning nuclear weapons. We would like to express our gratitude to you and all the other friends overseas who have given support to the new signature campaign.

This is the campaign based on the outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference,and it is a next step to achieving a world without nuclear weapons. On February 15,we held starting ceremonies in Hiroshima,Nagasaki,and Tokyo simultaneously and called for collecting signatures for this cause in and out of Japan.

Why This Campaign ?

When we will soon see the 66th Summer of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,the world is rapidly changing in terms of nuclear weapons.? With our actions in New York,or in many other cities around the world,the NPT Review Conference in May last year declared it as its goal “to achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”,and called on all states to make “special efforts” to establish a framework for it,focusing on the proposal of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the start of negotiations on a convention banning nuclear weapons.

The outcome of the session of the UN General assembly towards the end of the last year also showed a change. Nearly all member states voted in support of a resolution that urges full implementation of all past agreements on nuclear disarmament. The resolution calling for the start of negotiations on a nuclear weapon convention,put forward by Malaysia and many others,enjoyed support from 133 countries,including China,India and Pakistan,which possess nuclear arsenals,and even North Korea.

Now that the voice calling for a ban on nuclear weapons represents the majority in international politics,and that the Secretary General of the United Nations is appealing that we should,with Hibakusha,“celebrate the end of nuclear weapons”,the peace movements around the world should rise up in action in solidarity to make next steps forward,and the initiative for it should be taken here in Japan the only A-bombed country,with the Hibakusha.

Signature Campaign Poster
Signature Campaign Poster

Campaign Welcomed Nationally and Internationally

We have received endorsements from prominent figures in many different fields,leaders of organizations,and mayors,governors and local council leaders.? Eleven prominent personalities willingly agreed to our request that their names and portraits appear in a campaign poster.? They are Sumiteru Taniguchi,a leader of the Hibakusha movement,Tadatoshi Akiba & Tomiichi Taue,the mayors of Hiroshima &Nagasaki,Nobel laureates Kenzaburo Oe and Toshihide Masukawa,Yoji Yamada,the film director,Isao Harimoto,a baseball player who has the record of 3000 hits,Jakucho Setouchi,a leading Buddhist nun and writer,Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara,popular singers of Kumiko and Chitose Hajime.

International support and solidarity with the campaign is also spreading no less broadly than in Japan. We have received support from Nobel laureates Jody Williams and Mairead Maguire,and international networks and national and grassroots peace groups,such as the International Peace Bureau,the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and its International Campaign. One more feature on the launch of it is that the UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon and High Representative Sergio Duarte gave us warm and inspiring messages.

Mairead Maguire

Mairead Maguire

Jody Williams

Jody Williams

Our Short-term Goal:To collect signatures toward the 2011 World Conference to submit them to the UN this autumn

Placing the desire of the people in the signatures,we will send a delegation to the United Nations around the beginning of October every year,when the UN begins disarmament deliberations,to submit them to the UN.

The Preparatory Committee meeting to the next NPT Review Conference is due to be held in May next year. If we take it into account,we have to urge all governments to make “special effort” immediately,and we have to urge them to reach an agreement to start negotiation for the convention banning nuclear weapons in the UN General Assembly to be convened this autumn.

In order to obtain this agreement in the autumn,let us make a success of this year’s World Conference against A &H Bombs to he held in August in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please bring your collected signatures to the Conference. Let us pile up millions of signatures in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon

I am pleased to greet all those gathered in Hiroshima,Nagasaki and Tokyo to launch a new campaign calling for the start of negotiations for a convention banning nuclear weapons.

I fully support your efforts. The history of multilateral disarmament shows the importance of citizens raising their voices to demand action by governments.

Your campaign is especially timely given recent significant developments,including the entry into force of the new START Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States and the successful outcome of the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We must all build on this momentum.

Last August,I attended the Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. That visit was among the most moving and memorable experiences of my life. I was humbled and inspired by the courage and fortitude of the many hibakusha I met in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hearing their experiences strengthened my conviction that we must do everything in our power to rid the world of nuclear weapons. As long as nuclear weapons exist,the threat exists. If we want to get rid of the threat,we need to get rid of the weapons.

In October 2008,I put forward a five-point proposal on nuclear disarmament,offering a practical approach to the elimination of nuclear weapons,including support for the idea of a nuclear weapons convention. I am heartened that at their recent summit in Hiroshima,Nobel Peace Laureates expressed strong support for this idea.

I hope people everywhere will sign your petition,thereby adding their voice to rising chorus calling for the start of negotiations. One day,we will rid the world of nuclear weapons. And when we do,it will be because of people like you. I wish you a most successful campaign.

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